Thursday, March 17, 2011
(Me in Whistler, 1993, at 15)
I know you think we adults don't understand. And you're correct. However, there is a secret amongst us that you should know - not all of us DID grow up. Some of us still linger back in youthful times, realizing as we get older physically (and perhaps more wise) that there is no rule about "growing up."
There's a secret society of crazy, fun, ballistic adults out there who get you, but also have a lot of collective wisdom from living through all the shit you're currently dealing with. Don't lump us all together - find us, like gems in thrift stores. We exist.
There are things we can lead you to, truths you can conjure from us; the world is really just 2 things - wild, spastic nature, and the conjoined brains of billions of people. There are tribes you can find, societies you can form, caves you can crawl into, dreams you can inhabit. Infinite variety and unending awe.
When you get older it is inevitable that you will crave your youth again, so don't waste it. It sounds so cliche but I mean it in a different way. Teach yourself things, and ONLY the things that interest you - direct all your passion and time to the things that make your eyes widen and your breath catch. Leave school and enter life. Free yourself from everything holding you back. Anxiety is just an illusion - the "what ifs" are a waste of imagination. Just do. Go. See. Feel.
The fact that you are a teenage girl is an astounding privilege. Your passion and intensity could propel comets. This energy is often wasted on mundane things - the world wants to distract you with it's trivialities so your power is ignored. So it fades with time. Until you are a "grown up." Until you are a cog, a part of society, a proper adult. And either you accept it, or you wonder what happened to that excited, angsty part of yourself that got such wonderment over new things. Don't lose it. Stay gritty and be selfish. You have my permission. Just be kind.
Here's a secret that I discovered as I got older. There is a reason no one understands you when you're young (and it's the same reason people don't ever understand you, at any age) - absolutely NO one in the entire universe, or that has ever existed, has seen the world as you see it. No one has had your exact experience. You can be sitting beside someone, watching the same glorious spectacle, hearing the same bombastic music, and both will experience it differently. Pleasing everyone is impossible, world peace is impossible, and not following your heart is a travesty. We need your voice, and your brain, not your body. We want to see your view of the world, your violent moods on canvas, your verses of vehemence. We want to hear your ideas, watch your movements on stage, on snow, on grass. We want to taste your decadence, smell your tears, and feel your touch on our souls. It's all beautiful to someone.
Because this is what brings life to LIVING. The beautiful things people create and do are what make us alive. The force you have in you is unique. Harness it now , because the more you use it, the longer it will go - it keeps going, it does not ever run out. Some people just have a hard time getting it started again once they've been integrated into the societal machine. You have a non-stop resource of it, a deep well. Throw buckets of it into the world. Soak us. Make it honest. Nothing is meaningless. The world needs to be painted with your thoughts so it can keep living.
Girls are tremendously powerful. Don't fucking forget it. Now go. The Ones Who Never Grew Up will notice you. Your impact will be fierce. AIM HIGH.
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo
(I wrote this as an entry for a fledgling magazine looking for writers. I didn't get the gig, but I still love this anyway. I wrote it months ago and just rediscovered it, so here it is to share with everyone, magazine or not.)